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Bubble Counters - type ? + Regulator question

Discussion in 'CO2 Enrichment' started by Pockets, May 1, 2007.

  1. Pockets

    Pockets Prolific Poster

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    I am wondering about the difference between the "bubble counters" that are mounted on the needle valves compared to the other bubble counters that are run inline and are mounted on some fixed object by screws.

    I like the convienance of the bubble counters that mount right on top of the needle valves but I cannot find them for sale anywhere? Also they seem to only be available on the All-in-one units sold by JBJ / Milwawkii . And I don't want to purchase either brand.

    Can someone tell me what is the most precise bubble counter setup?

    And are there any advantages/disadvantages in either bubble counter type?


    * Also off topic - Should I buy a Regulator that has a fixed-working pressure or get one that has the ability to adjust the working pressure?

    Example:

    Fixed Working Pressure Regulator > CO2 Regulator by AquaMedic - AquaCave

    Adjustable Working Pressure Regulator > Double Gauge - CO2 Primary - Premium Series


    Thanks for any advice everyone :)
     
  2. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    Any bubble counter is as good as any other, as far as accuracy is concerned. All it is is a container of liquid where you can see bubbles of CO2. The difference between a good one and a bad one is how easy it is to keep it from leaking and how easy to add more liquid when you need to. I don't see any reason to care where it is mounted as long as it is convenient to look at and not an eyesore. I also don't recall seeing any that mount on a needle valve other than the ones that come with the Milwaukee all in one unit or similar all in one units. Rex Griggs sells a neat one he makes from clear PVC piping, but it isn't specifically made to mount on a needle valve.
     
  3. sherry

    sherry Guru Class Expert

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    I just hooked up one of rex's last night.. and it is great.. it actually can mount on the outside of the tank or on something near by as it attaches to the needle valve via tube.. (I now have the fabco needle valve which also doesn't attach directly to the regulator)..
     
  4. Pockets

    Pockets Prolific Poster

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    What about the regulator question anybody have advice or comments ?

    :D
     
  5. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    I would never use a fixed working pressure regulator. It is hard enough to fine tune the bubble rate without taking away one of the adjustments that can be used.
     
  6. Pockets

    Pockets Prolific Poster

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  7. sherry

    sherry Guru Class Expert

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    Tom recently recommended the victor regulator (ebay light duty) and Rex Griggs needle valves and solenoids.

    I am not handy and decided it was worth the premium to buy one of Rex's units. So far I am very happy with it! He does nice work.
     
  8. Pockets

    Pockets Prolific Poster

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    I think I will be purchasing this regulator
    J & R Welding Supplies Victor VTS250 Series / Two Stage Medium Duty Regulator
    $288.00 0781-3573 VTS253B-320 2 - 40 CO2 5/8-18 ( F ) RH 3000 PSIG

    I think this regulator is the one I am going to buy ... just need now to do some shopping to get the best price.


    * by the way , does anyone know the difference between single/two-stage functionality ?
     
  9. Pockets

    Pockets Prolific Poster

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  10. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    The job we want our CO2 regulators to do is pretty simple compared to what many regulator applications call for. About all we care about is that the regulator not leak, that it maintain the pressure we set it at, even as the CO2 tank runs out of liquid CO2, and that we be able to set its pressure easily. Those requirements can be met with a single stage regulator, even though a two stage regulator will do it better, especially the part about maintaining its set pressure as the tank pressure drops. So, if you feel you can afford the cost a two stage regulator is obviously better, but you can be very happy with a single stage regulator too.
     
  11. Pockets

    Pockets Prolific Poster

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    Well, it seems that I am learning enough now to feel comfortable about spending money on a few products. Thanks for all of the help Vaughn/Tom/Sherry you all help me very much so I can get started ... this is my first tank ya know


    :)
     
  12. sherry

    sherry Guru Class Expert

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    What kind of plants are you dreaming of? What kind of fish? The tank itself sounds like it is amazing from what you described before
     
  13. Pockets

    Pockets Prolific Poster

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    I am doing a variation of the Dutch Style here are the plants that I found and am going to be purchasing.

    [​IMG]


    I have not yet decided what type of fish. I like small schooling fish with bright colors and also a mix of hard to find specialty fish. "community type tank".


    * About the price I am willing to spend on a regulator..... 300.00 budget for a good regulator is not too overkill considering without plants and fish I just got done purchasing my last of equipment last night on the Internet and my tank is up to $5600.00 before the regulator purchase. And I have bought all products online with good prices and no tax compariing website prices. But as an example of "Overboard" tendincies I have several types of substrate in my tank > Eco Complete / Flourite Red & Original / Tahitian Moon Sand / Laterite.:D

    But the main cost factors involved are:


    A. Acylic tank - corner overlfows / rounded corners / 72x18x24 == 1100.00
    B. Cabinet & Canopy - Tall canopy / hardwood trim doors / cherry == 1500.00
    C. Filtration - eheim - 2028 X 2 / pro3e 2078 x 1 == 900.00
    D. Lights - AHS - 4x96 watt - 2x5000k front / 2x6700k rear == 450.00

    .... and a whole bunch more ....



    :D

    [EDIT]

    I am pretty sure about getting this regulator
    J & R Welding Supplies Victor SR250 Series / Single Stage Medium Duty Regulator
    $185.00 --- 0781-0075 --- SR253B-320 --- 2 - 40 (working range) --- CO2

    Its not a two-stage but I will save 100.00 on the price.

    I was told by a service technician that if I was going to get a regulator then victor makes just about the best... he also said to get the Medium duty regulator because they have a larger and thicker diaphram and are less likely to undergo stretching which will cause the performance to deteriorate over time.

    The technician also said..., as I have heard from Tom Barr.., that a two-stage regulator is not worth spending the money on and with the type of gas (CO2) the benefits are not going to be as noticable as some other types of gas in regards to the maintaining steady working pressure during bottle drop. He said they are better but not really worth the extra money unless your in the medical/laboratory field.

    I am happy now with all this research and stuff.
     
  14. sherry

    sherry Guru Class Expert

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    its going to be a great tank. :) When are you setting it all up?
     
  15. Pockets

    Pockets Prolific Poster

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    Thanks sherry :)

    Its all setup except for CO2/UV sterlizer/plants & ferts/fish! The plants & fish are going to have to wait until next payday...2weeks. The CO2 equip & UV sterilizer/drop checker/xtra bioballs etc..ects... are on the way now. Finally I will have all of the equiptment....

    I have been studying and reading and lurking and price comparising for the last 6-8months every night hours at a time ---- totally consumed on the internet daily about tropical fish ... heheehee!

    I am exhausted



    :)


    BTW

    i have been cycling the tank for the last 1.5months with wallmart fish.... bloodfin tetras , gold barbs , and cherry barbs .... they eat flake/brine shrimp/bloodworm. Now there just about bottle feeding from a baby eggshaped medacine dropper. I intake some tank water let it thaw out and pump little bits out as they all frantically try to suck it out .... :) its quite cute actually ....



    bye,
     
  16. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Just take your time and do it right, also, do not run those lights until the CO2 is there.

    Then buy plants and plant thickly and add CO2/ferts etc.

    You might want to use some Activated carbon and Purigen in the filters for the first 1-2 months.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
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